By Tonia Boyd
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2006, a total of 435,427 infants were born to mothers aged 15–19 years. More than 80 percent were unintended. The study also showed that the African American teen pregnancy rate was 63.7 percent, the highest amongst Hispanics and Whites. In 1999 black women had the highest rate of single parent families according to the US Bureau of Census.
Most black teens barring babies are from single-family households with no real family support. Though some of these children are born into dire situations, the birth rate within low-income black communities continues to rise. Not only are black teens having children that they are not able to support, but also black adult women. The reasons for this epidemic range from some teens and women having unprotected sex, not believing in abortion, and not wanting to give a child away for adoption.
In most black families giving a child away is frowned upon, even thought to be a “white person’s” thing to do. The mere mention of adoption in black families is highly criticized. Some families will offer to pitch in to do all that they can in order to prevent adoption. However, in most situations this does not happen and the parent is left having to raise an unwanted child and both become another statistic. The rate of unmarried African American women that give a child away for adoption is less then 2 percent. The low rate in which unmarried black women place their child for adoption relates to how we view adoption. In my opinion some teens and women would abandon or mistreat unwanted children rather than look to adoption as another alternative.
There are instances in which a family member may legally adopt a child but this is mainly in extreme circumstance and is rare. In the wake of change, this too should be a mindset that needs to change. Every child born into this world deserves the best that life has to offer. Giving a child to a loving family does not make you a failure. In fact it gives both you and the child a chance at a better life.
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Source: Mosher and Bachrach, 1996
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Tonia Boyd is CEO/Owner of Beauty From Within a fashion and beauty business. For more information log onto www.beautyfromwithn.com
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